What a find by my friend!!! Quaintrelle is a farm to table restaurant in SE Portland where you can choose whatever you want from the menu or be surprised by the chef from a 5 or 7 or 9 or 12 course dinner experience. The items in these courses depend on the season and the ingredients chef finds that day in the farmer’s market.
We went ahead with the 7 course menu for $145 per person…drinks are separate. You gotta be a passionate foodie to try a restaurant like this and be ready for anything. We felt lazy to go over the menu and wanted to be surprised by the chef.
We started off with some drinks “Un” and “Deux” a couple of non-alcoholic drinks. Then the non-stop series of plates started coming.
First, some of the best oysters I had in my life, then some very lightly cooked scallops, then raw tuna, breads with homemade flavored butter and olives, salmon, duck (I don’t usually eat duck, but this was the best), grapefruit sorbet with olive oil and wasabi, pita crackers with cheese, a dessert with corn ice cream and plum sorbet.
Quaintrelle, which is about a year old in this location, is a perfect place to take your loved ones, guests, a date, or people who just love going thru culinary adventures. It’s not very big inside…be ready to be a bit cozy with your neighboring tables. I’d also recommend making a reservation first.
If you are a vegan or pescatarian or don’t eat pork, they will work around your diet to give you the best experience.
When you are in Quaintrelle, you just have to sit back, relax, and let the chef take the wheel. Enjoy the vibe of this place, the presentations, the stories behind these dishes, and finally, the music.
Couple weeks ago, four of my travel chicas and I went out for a dinner get together in one of the best seafood places in Portland downtown. FYI, our travel pack, which consists of 5 girls, has traveled to Cabo, Mexico and Punta Cana, DR so far, our next trip is coming up soon later this year for some girl time fun.
For dinner that Sunday evening, we wanted to go to Tusk at first, then stopped at Mediterranean Exploration Company…but waiting time was more than an hour in both places. So, while looking for something nearby and considering a previous recommendation, we ended up going to Southpark Seafood on Salmon Street…only couple minutes drive from Portland waterfront. The restaurant is about 20 years old but it has upgraded its reputation recently in the last few years.
Southpark Seafood is a contemporary and stylish restaurant where you want to bring your loved ones for a grand treat or to celebrate an extra special event. It can be a bit noisy but I admired that casual ambiance here. The restaurant features sustainable seafood with a daily changing menu. They not only compost all their food waste and practice the reduce/reuse/recycle diligently, but also use straws made from corn and bar picks made of wood. If you happen to be an environmentalist AND an oyster lover, like me, they have one of the largest selections of oysters in town.
For appetizers and entrees, we had half a dozen oysters, clam chowder with gnocchi, Salmon Poke with seaweed/radish/nuts with sesame crackers, burger, Manila Clams with garlic/chili flake, Fried chicken with peanuts/maple syrup, Garlic Confit brick oven pizza with lemon zest/parsley, and Squid Ink Fettuccine with manila clams/tomato/scallions. At the end, we had an order of Warm Banana Bread Pudding which came with caramel, candied walnuts, and bruléed bananas. I tried every single dish from my friends’ and my small plates, except for the clam chowder and the Manila clams, and I don’t remember tasting something and going “Oh, I don’t like this one” for any dish in Southpark Seafood. Everything that I’ve tasted had unique flavors and signature touch to it.
Oysters that we had were the freshest, although, taste-wise, I probably liked the ones in Dan & Louise better. What I’ve heard from my friends about clam chowder was that it was creamy with the perfect combination of thickness and flavor that came with small sizes of gnocchi. Salmon Poke was probably the best one that really stood out on our table. It’s raw salmon with crunchy nuts and seaweed…a simple yet so yummy small plate that we could eat it for a main portion of dinner. I don’t usually eat burgers at a seafood restaurant but it was definitely beyond my expectation. Same for the fried chicken…something I wouldn’t have tried at a seafood place, especially I with maple syrup (bummer). But my friend requested the syrup on the side…therefore, the fried chicken alone tasted excellent crunchiness outside and super soft inside texture. The oven baked thin crust pizza was also very authentic and aromatic. My second favorite here, after the Salmon Poke, was my dish “Squid Ink Fettuccine”. Phew, the dish came with some gorgeous manila clams in a medium portion. The added tomato and scallion kicked this squid ink pasta dish to another level of elegance…totally got my umami effect from this. To end the mean, bread pudding was presented delicately on a wooden board…warm with candied nuts and caramelized banana slices, couldn’t have been any better.
Some of the other highlighted items in the menu were seafood stew, fish and chips, different kinds of salads, soups, sandwiches, habanero aioli fries, grilled octopus and scallops, Ahi Tuna, dungeness crab, King salmon, seafood tower that includes oysters/crab/tuna/scallops/prawns with assorted sauce, pasta with lamb ragu, beet + goat cheese ravioli, and a whole lot of other very appetizing dishes. For the dessert menu, other than the banana bread pudding that we ordered, it also includes lemon cheesecake, German chocolate cake, cookie plate, gelato, sorbet, and some more.
It’s not just the food, but their friendly and fast service also that gave all of us a beautiful evening. Plan to park in a paid area or find a street parking for this restaurant. It’s a big restaurant…mostly likely, you won’t reservation for a small or big group. No doubt, I would highly recommend this to all of my people…come and check it out, let me know which dish you liked the most.
I think I finally got a perfect place to get fresh seafood dishes in Portland. That means, I don’t have to drive to the coastal towns when I am craving some good quality oysters or chowder. I don’t know if it happens to you, but once in a while I literally crave for fresh/top quality oysters. And it was one of those nights when it hit me that I needed some oysters. My friend and I searched some places and the place we initially wanted to go was closed. So, we had to look for another nearby place where we could to devour some oysters.
Located in the heart of Old Portland, Dan & Louis Oyster Bar is an old-school seafood stop for the seafood lovers. With nautical decors and port-city atmosphere inside plus a cool outdoor sitting arrangements, this place has been serving oysters and chowders since 1907. It’s not just the decor, but the friendly service, absolutely delicious food, and the steeped history that made me a big fan of this gem in my city. This is a must stop if you love freshest seafood options in a classic restaurant that has been owned by five generations of the family for over 100 years…makes this the oldest family owned restaurant in Portland, Oregon.
Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, as the name implies, is specialized in oysters, although every dish we ordered was outstanding and was made to perfection. Honestly, it is a bit hard to order from the menu when everything there sounds so mouth-watering. We had half a dozen of “Oysters on the Half Shell”, Oysters Parmesan, clam chowder, Seafood Saute with the choices of prawns and calamari. As I said before, these fresh Northwest oysters here are to die for. The Oysters Parmesan are large fresh shucked oysters baked with Parmesan and garlic butter…you can’t have enough of them. The chowder was yet one of the best I’ve tried so far…flawless combination of seafood, potato, and creaminess…blended with terrific flavors. Finally, the only main entree we ordered was the saute seafood with prawns and calamari that came with slightly fried thin zucchini slices. This dish was served with perfectly cooked prawns and calamari. Seriously, I can’t say enough of this place…you just gotta come and try it.
They also have fish tacos, different kinds of sandwiches, all sorts of fried seafood options, smoked seafood varieties, gumbo, grilled fish, and etc. I am sure, whatever types of seafood you are looking for, you will find it in Dan & Louis Oyster Bar. This is a great place to celebrate any special occasion or just to hang out with friends on a Friday night or to bring your date for a fancy yet casual dinner. And yes, I am going back there AGAIN.
La Moule was in my bucket list for a while, especially since I started blogging on Portland restaurants. We lived in Belgium for 3 years and unfortunately never went to a brasserie. We tried French, Dutch, German food…but never really a true Belgian dish or even the national dish, mussels. In case you didn’t know, Belgium shares its border with France, The Netherlands, and Germany. Therefore, its culture is a great combination of all those 3 countries, especially when it comes to cuisine.
My daughters and I were in La Moule on a Saturday night and made a reservation beforehand on that day. If you are taking someone below 21 years of age, like me, it’s better to go there way before 10pm. They don’t allow minors after 10pm. We weren’t told that when made the reservation for 8:45pm and had to rush to finish it before 10pm. Also, keep in mind, street parking is the only option when you are coming this part of the town.
La Moule is a French inspired artsy bar and bistro located in a small SE Portland neighborhood. This European restaurant has both indoor and patio/outdoor sitting with an eclectic and cozy environment. With its Belgian style frites (fries), national dish mussels/moules, and Liege waffles in the menu, this is a true Belgian brasserie you can experience in Portland, OR. The menu is short, but everything we tried tasted elegant and flavorful. You can find few different kinds of mussels bowls here. But if you are not into seafood, they have steak, burgers, and other seafood dishes.
Now, for our dishes, we ordered baguettes with fancy butter and confited garlic and chicken liver mousse with dijon mustard and pickles. Everything was great in these appetizer plates. If you are not a big fan of liver (or chicken liver), I won’t suggest it for you…it does have a slight aftertaste of liver that my kids couldn’t handle. For main dish, we had Basil Spatzle and Puttanesca moules/mussels. Basil spatzle/spaetzle was a German style pasta dish with corns, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried capers, oysters and lobster. The proportion was perfect for one person and it was very good…sans the corns. This was my young daughter’s favorite one here. I loved the Puttanesca mussels in tomato sauce, anchovy, capers with olive, lemon zest, and basil. Dipping my baguette in the tomato sauce brought back some memories from Europe. To finish off, we had Liege Belgian waffles with cinnamon, sugar, and cream on top.
This was a great culinary experience in a buzzy neighborhood which is already loaded with some other great eateries. But I felt I would only bring people here who have pure elegant and adventurous tongue to try these dishes.
My eight-grader finished this year with more than 3.5 GPA (yes, I’m a proud mama) and we were delighted to attend her “Honor Student and Family Breakfast” this week where she also received an award for outstanding community service. What better way to acknowledge her achievement other than taking her to her favorite restaurant?
My daughter has been mentioning about Urban Fondue for more than a year now. When I asked her to pick a restaurant to celebrate finishing up her middle school successfully…her first choice was Urban Fondue.
Located very close to the downtown area on Glisan St, this is a nice neighborhood to explore few other restaurants and stores. Bad part is that you have to find a street parking but good part is that once you do, it’s all worth the headache.
We made a reservation for four people on a week-night. Although they have option of sitting outside, we sat inside which was simple with vibrant red walls and furniture. Before you try out this place, keep in mind that this is a fondue place…with cheese, chocolate, and different kinds of broth to cook your meat/seafood/veges. Basically, a dip and dine place.
While you can order single entrees from the menu, we ordered a combo for 3 people ($37 per person) where we were able to choose 2 different kinds of cheese fondue, 1 side, 3 main entrees with beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetables, and 1 dessert.
Our 2 choices of cheese fondue came with small pieces of gourmet bread and a side of vege-roasted cauliflower. Then the main dishes with raw meat/seafood and vegetables came with 2 different kinds of broths that we chose – roasted beef and urban Yosenabe broth. We were given a cooking time card and few timers. Most of these ingredients take about 3 minutes to cook properly in the broth. The dinner platters also came with more than 10 dipping sauces…each being completely different from the others. After the dinner items, we moved onto the dessert part…chocolate fondue with raspberry puree (called Raspberry Swirl). And it came with combo platter with strawberries, banana slices, delicious cheesecake squares, and few other yum bites.
Not to exaggerate, but from the appetizer cheese and bread to dinner items in broth to sweet morsels dipped in chocolate/raspberry fondue…everything tasted just PERFECT…exactly the way you would imagine and how you know you would feel when you dip your food in scrumptious cheese fondue or cook in the broth or having fresh fruit in melted chocolate. Everything here tasted fresh and sizes of the plates were very proportionate too.
Urban Fondue is a perfect place to celebrate any occasion for any ages or just to hang out and try a different kind of dining with your loved ones. My kids were thrilled to be there and we all absolutely loved their food. The customer service is very professional and speedy also. Overall, all of us had a very nice experience here. And now that I’m hooked to fondues, I will have to come back here again to try their other kinds of cheese and chocolate recipes.
I used to eye this restaurant after I started working in the downtown area. It looked so modern inside and out and I used to just wish having a meal there someday with my people.
First time I stepped inside Q Restaurant and Bar was with a friend for dinner. We both had seafood dishes…seafood stew and pasta with seafood (I think). Both were fantastic and made to perfection. We got some freshly baked warm bread and butter to accompany the dishes. Finally to finish off we had a pomegranate dessert and home-made Turkish coffee ice-cream.
Next time I was in Q Restaurant and Bar was with my uncle and kids for a late Saturday brunch. Their brunch is open until 3pm on weekends. Although the menu is short and may seem like doesn’t have much options, you can create your own breakfast from their side orders. While one of my daughters was up for seafood stew for her breakfast, rest of us had vege benedict which came with potato cake, sauted vegetables and 2 eggs.
Their menu covers from soup and salads to variety of main entrees. Small plates are available under appetizers. Their main entrees change almost every night…but whatever you order, I can almost assure you that you won’t regret it.
My first impression of this restaurant is WOW. They have the best customer service with very friendly waiters/waitresses and a perfect location in downtown near the water front. Park your car inside the World Trade Center underground parking or by the street. This is a fantastic place to celebrate a special occasion or take someone for a date night or just for a cozy brunch with family on weekends.
About a block away from my workplace and very close to the Portland downtown waterfront, Dragonwell Bistro is probably my new favorite Asian place for now (not that I’ve explored much of Asian restaurants in this area). This would definitely be my go-to place whenever I am craving Chinese/Thai/Mongolian food for lunch during weekdays.
Plan to park at a nearby garage or find a street parking if you want to dine in Dragonwell Bistro. Once you are inside and seated, it is a nice place to sit down, relax, and enjoy the downtown atmosphere. This would also be a great place to bring your friends or family to hangout or celebrate an occasion. The price is reasonable and the restaurant has wide variety of options from soups, curries, vegetarian plates, seafood, meat, gluten-free, and spicy dishes. Their dinner menu definitely has more items than the lunch menu.
My first time at Dragonwell Bistro, for lunch, I had scallop in spicy tangy sauce with white rice. I received the perfect portion of rice with scallop and mixed veges. To be honest, this was one of the best scallops I had in an Asian restaurant for a long time. I could feel the crunchiness outside of each scallop and tender/juicy bite inside it. It was perfectly seasoned with little bit of thick gravy mixed in with different kinds of vegetables.
As I mentioned before, I would go back there again to try some of their other dishes, like Mongolian spicy beef or miso soup. If you are in downtown and looking for a reasonably priced yet beautifully decorated Chinese/Mandarin place to eat, I would recommend to check this place out. Finally, my waiter was awesome and very friendly, although can’t say the same for the guy at the cashier. But overall it was a good run for me and I could go there, sit down, order food, and finish my food…all in half an hour, perfect to get back to my work right on time.